Twitter users have been speculating for months — yes, years — about whether the site would ever offer a subscription tier with added benefits. Today it announced that it is officially launching its “first ever subscription offer”
The social media giant is now giving its users the option to pay $2.99 per month ($3.49 for Canadian users and $4.49 for those in Australia) for some extra features. But honestly, it doesn’t give users much of anything. And no, for those wondering, free Twitter isn’t going anywhere.
Subscription level users get bookmarked folders to better organize saved tweets; Reader mode, which “provides a nicer reading experience” by making long threads easier to read; access to dedicated customer support for subscriptions; colorful app themes; customizable app icons for their device’s home screen; and the long-awaited Undo Tweet feature that gives you up to 30 seconds to click Undo and correct typos before posting.
I wouldn’t necessarily be happy with these features if they were free – given the scope of the site and what it offers, more powerful options like this should already be in play (and at no extra cost). A 30 second undo button? You have unlimited seconds to proofread your Tweets before hitting send (and you can always install a grammar checking app); on the other hand, Twitter, like texting your mom or your uncle, is a little bit everything about typing errors. Keeping a better reading experience behind a paywall is just rude and suggests that Twitter could always have been more user-friendly. And pay for colorful themes? Come on, that’s just… kind of useless.
If you transfer your money to Twitter’s subscription service, your dollar should go a little further. For example, it can remove annoying ads and sponsored posts; paying for a service and still having to see ads is insulting. Other services remove ads from their paid tiers. Many of the third-party Twitter apps and Chrome extensions, such as Better TweetDeck, have offered more robust customization features for years.
Twitter Blue is initially available to users in Australia and Canada, but will be rolled out to users in the United States later in 2021. It might be suitable for some users, but if you’re looking for more features, consider just using a third-party Twitter app. Some are free or available for a low one-time fee.